17-11 – Council decision-making prior to the September 2017 local government elections
What’s new or changing
- Clause 393B of the Local Government (General) Regulation 2005 limits councils’ ability to exercise some of their functions in the four weeks preceding the date of a local government election (the caretaker period).
What this will mean for your council
- Councils are expected to assume a “caretaker” role during election periods to ensure that major decisions are not made which would limit the actions of an incoming council.
- Councils, the general manager or any other delegate of the council (other than a Joint Regional Planning Panel or the Central Sydney Planning Committee) must not exercise the following functions during the caretaker period:
- Entering into any contract or undertaking involving an expenditure or receipt by the council of an amount equal to or greater than $150,000 or 1% of the council’s revenue from rates in the preceding financial year (whichever is the larger);
- Determining a “controversial development application”, except where a failure to make such a determination would give rise to a deemed refusal, or such a deemed refusal arose before the commencement of the caretaker period;
- Appointing or reappointing the council’s general manager (except for temporary appointments).
- In certain circumstances, these functions may be exercised with the approval of the Minister.
- “Controversial development application” means a development application under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 for which at least 25 persons have made submissions under section 79(5) of that Act by way of objection.
- The caretaker period for the September 2017 local government elections commences on Friday 11 August 2017 and ends on Saturday 9 September 2017.
Where to go for further information
- For further information, contact the Office’s Council Governance Team on 4428 4100.
Acting Chief Executive